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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 27, issue 12
Ann. Geophys., 27, 4435–4448, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-27-4435-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 27, 4435–4448, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-27-4435-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  07 Dec 2009

07 Dec 2009

Microphysical retrievals from simultaneous polarimetric and profiling radar observations

M. P. Morris1, P. B. Chilson1, T. J. Schuur2, and A. Ryzhkov2 M. P. Morris et al.
  • 1School of Meteorology/Atmospheric Radar Research Center, Norman, OK, USA
  • 2Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies/NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK, USA

Abstract. The character of precipitation detected at the surface is the final product of many microphysical interactions in the cloud above, the combined effects of which may be characterized by the observed drop size distribution (DSD). This necessitates accurate retrieval of the DSD from remote sensing data, especially radar as it offers large areal coverage, high spatial resolution, and rigorous quality control and testing. Combined instrument observations with a UHF wind profiler, an S-band polarimetric weather radar, and a video disdrometer are analyzed for two squall line events occuring during the calendar year 2007. UHF profiler Doppler velocity spectra are used to estimate the DSD aloft, and are complemented by DSDs retrieved from an exponential model applied to polarimetric data. Ground truth is provided by the disdrometer. A complicating factor in the retrieval from UHF profiler spectra is the presence of ambient air motion, which can be corrected using the method proposed by Teshiba et al. (2009), in which a comparison between idealized Doppler spectra calculated from the DSDs retrieved from KOUN and those retrieved from contaminated wind profiler spectra is performed. It is found that DSDs measured using the distrometer at the surface and estimated using the wind profiler and polarimetric weather radar generally showed good agreement. The DSD retrievals using the wind profiler were improved when the estimates of the vertical wind were included into the analysis, thus supporting the method of Teshiba et al. (2009). Furthermore, the the study presents a method of investigating the time and height structure of DSDs.

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